June is Pride Month!
This month we all have an opportunity to reflect on and perhaps learn more about the challenges endured by our LGBTQ+ communities and show our support. To kick off this journey, perhaps start by reading the POTUS’ Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month, 2021.
According to the American Psychiatric Association‘s Mental Health Disparities data:
- LGBTQ individuals are more than twice as likely as heterosexual men and women to have a mental health disorder in their lifetime.
- LGBTQ individuals are 2.5 times more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and substance misuse compared with heterosexual individuals.
- The rate of suicide attempts is four times greater for lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and two times greater for questioning youth than that of heterosexual youth.
- Transgender individuals who identify as African American/black, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, or Multiracial/Mixed Race are at increased risk of suicide attempts than white transgender individuals.
- Act as a Scholar. Educating ourselves is always a good first step when venturing into spaces of diversity. And when interested in engaging in conversations, it is vital to understand any unique terminology that might impact our ability to effectively communicate. If you don’t know where to start, The Trevor Project created an online glossary to help us out with the rapidly expanding terminology. Consider taking a look at this glossary and perhaps sharing the link with others.
- Take and even deeper dive. Perhaps consider watching a documentary or series that presents queer history and current struggles to connect to the LGBTQ+ community. Below are a few suggestions:
- Before Stonewall
- Stonewall Uprising
- Pride Docuseries
- Tongues Untied
- Display a Pride Flag! It not just the rainbow anymore. There are a multitude of flags that can be flown in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Not familiar with them? No worries, this USA Today article will bring you up to speed. After reading the article, perhaps intentionally buying one of choice and putting it out to increase visibility and build the momentum of this movement.
- Join a Pride March. Consider participating in a Pride March this month as an opportunity to show support, to observe, listen and be educated. You can do a simple Internet search to find one in your local area. Perhaps invite a friend or two to go along with you!
- Be a Confidant. As an Ally, when someone from the LBGTQ+ trusts you enough to have the courage to share a part of their story with you, listen with the sole/soul intention to understand. Be curious and ask questions when someone describes an experience you have not had. Don’t follow up with your own story that you think might be similar to try to demonstrate your understanding. Instead, simply believe their story and thank them for sharing it with you!
As always, if you try any of these intention-setting ideas for holistic health, I would love to hear about the impact they might have had for you. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to share!